Showing Sustainability Leadership in One of Canada’s Most Important Urban Forests
Why this Project Matters
The University of Toronto’s St. George campus, set in downtown Toronto, includes an urban forest with strong connections to its communities and neighbourhoods. This project will explore the feasibility for the campus to become certified to the new SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard, and how certification could be scaled up to include the university’s other campuses and potentially other non-municipal entities. Being certified to the new SFI standard would demonstrate a commitment to using trees and forests as natural solutions that improve community wellbeing and human health and help fight climate change. The SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard applies to cities and towns of all sizes, anywhere in the world, and is also designed for corporate, hospital, and university campuses.
How This Project Will Help Assess the Feasibility of Certifying to the SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard
The project will begin by introducing the concept of the new SFI standard to the campus community and gauging the level of interest in becoming certified. This will involve interviewing those on the campus responsible for implementing sustainability initiatives. Key barriers to certification will be identified to direct the next phases of the project.
The second phase of the project will involve researching the existing and proposed policies at the university and assessing, at a high level, how many of the key objectives of the new SFI standard are being met. This will be a high-level gap analysis to determine the level of effort that would be required for the campus to become certified to the new SFI standard. Pathways to certification, as well as how the objectives overlap with existing policies, will also be identified in this phase.
The final project phase will use the information gathered in the previous phases to provide an estimate on the level of effort that would be required for the campus to achieve certification to SFI’s newest standard. The project will also explore the possibility of scaling SFI certification to other campuses, as well as to other non-municipal entities.
The SFI Community Grant Program is supporting the review of relevant university policies and plans to identify programing gaps with performance measures and indicators in the SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard. Throughout the project, the university project team will work closely with the SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard team.
This partnership includes University of Toronto and SFI staff, along with forestry consultants.
- Project lead: University of Toronto
- Sustainable Forestry Initiative
- Dendron Forestry Services
SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard
City of Toronto Urban Forest Management